Meizu Halts Regular Phones – AI Shift Ahead?

Meizu: Transitioning from Traditional Smartphones to AI

Meizu is a renowned veteran in the Chinese smartphone market. Even before the era of smartphones, Meizu was able to compete with the dominant Nokia. Since being taken under Geely’s wing, Meizu’s opportunity seems to have returned. However, the recent announcement from Meizu to abruptly halt traditional smartphone projects and shift focus raises questions. How should we interpret Meizu’s sudden turn towards AI? Does Meizu, with its complete transition to AI, still stand a chance?

1. Meizu Announces Halt of Traditional Smartphone Projects

According to IT Home, Meizu has announced to go “All in AI,” suspending new projects of traditional “smartphones” to fully invest in “Tomorrow’s Devices” – AI For New Generations.

Meizu states that the global smartphone market is facing unprecedented challenges due to prolonged replacement cycles, limited innovation space, and intensified industry competition, making it imperative to seek new sustainable directions beyond hardware upgrades and parameter competitions to meet diverse and comprehensive user needs and experiences.

After two years of team coordination, resource allocation, product layout, and thorough pre-research of relevant technologies, Meizu now possesses the capability to fully transition into the AI field. As a comprehensive technology ecosystem company, Meizu has a solid hardware team in R&D and the supply chain, along with a systematic software team specializing in development, design, and interaction, providing robust technical support and service guarantee for Meizu’s complete focus on AI.

During the AI conference, Meizu also unveiled detailed plans for its AI strategy, including developing AI Device products, restructuring the Flyme system, and constructing an AI ecosystem.

As per the plan, in 2024, Meizu will update the smartphone operating system to build fundamental capabilities for the AI era.

2. Does Meizu’s Full Transition to AI Hold Promise?

Meizu Technology recently announced the suspension of R&D and production of traditional smartphones, drawing extensive industry attention. As a brand that once held a prominent position in the Chinese smartphone market, Meizu’s decision seems somewhat surprising. What is the purpose behind Meizu’s action? How should we analyze and perceive it?

Firstly, transitioning to AI has become an industry consensus. Meizu’s decision in 2024 to terminate the development of traditional smartphone projects and go “All in AI” appears radical but aligns with the inevitable trend of technological advancement. The innovation cycle in the smartphone industry is slowing down, with user demand for hardware upgrades saturating and intensified homogeneous competition. The development of smart technology, especially artificial intelligence, brings new vitality to smartphone products. Competitors like OPPO have also expressed optimistic expectations and deep deployments in the AI smartphone era, validating the industry’s historical shift from hardware to services, from feature phones to smartphones, and now evolving towards AI-driven terminals.

Secondly, the traditional smartphone market is in a saturated state. Currently, the global smartphone market faces multiple pressures. With consumers prolonging replacement cycles, the market’s incremental space is significantly limited. The competition has reached a bottleneck in core configurations and technical parameters, failing to continuously stimulate consumer buying desires. Simultaneously, internal industry fierce competition intensifies, price wars and marketing battles squeezing manufacturers’ profit margins, making differentiation and breakthrough innovation crucial challenges in the industry. Meizu keenly acknowledges that sticking to the traditional smartphone route in this context might lead to passivity and rigidity.

Thirdly, fully entering the AI track is indeed starting afresh. For Meizu, fully transitioning into the AI field is a wise choice. On one hand, AI is the future trend with enormous market potential. As artificial intelligence technology advances and applications expand, AI will gradually infiltrate various sectors, becoming a crucial force for societal progress. Therefore, Meizu’s choice to wholly enter the AI field is a natural response to the era’s development.

On the other hand, Meizu has limited competitiveness in the traditional smartphone market compared to brands like Huawei and Xiaomi in terms of market share and brand influence. Continuing to compete head-on with old rivals in the traditional market might not lead to significant progress. Shifting to the AI field allows Meizu to break free from traditional market constraints and explore new development opportunities.

Lastly, Meizu’s confidence is also evident with Geely’s support. With Geely’s backing, Meizu has a stronger capital base and a broader resource network. Geely’s profound expertise in automobile intelligence and strategic cross-sector integration positions it well to synergize with Meizu in AI technology development and ecosystem construction. This significant transformation for Meizu is not a hasty decision but a strategic choice made after thorough preparation and deep contemplation. Leveraging Geely’s resource advantages, Meizu can strengthen its capabilities in technology R&D, supply chain management, and marketing, laying a solid foundation for its full thrust into the field of AI devices and AI-enabled devices.

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